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Infection « ZolexPC Blog About Us - Remote Computer Support & Help | Zolex PC

Can I Get An Infection From A Legitimate Website?

Can I Get An Infection From A Legitimate Website?   This is a great question and the answer is yes.   How can this happen?    A virus or malicious content can be put onto a legitimate website without the owner being aware.  Just as the PC's themselves can get infected, websites can also be infected.     Users that in turn visit those sites could end up catching a virus themselves just by navigating to a compromised site.

Read the full article highlighted below.  Note the pictures where you can see a Fake YouTube looking website.   The article states that this particular infection was actually located on 2 different companies websites without their knowledge.     http://www.symantec.com/connect/de/blogs/use-legitimate-sites-malicious-web-attacks

In this particular case the infection is contracted by clicking on Yes to Download the Codec.  Legitimate codecs are used to watch videos.  Your standard Windows Media Player will usually play most videos for you.  If you see a prompt to download a codec in order to watch a video, there is a good chance you will be getting an infection instead of watching the video.

Most larger websites will have high enough security and safeguards in place to prevent this from happening.  The risk is with smaller sites or Mom and Poppish types.    It is important for these types of business to have the right security in place for their websites.  This is usually handled by a hosting company that specializes in this.  Godaddy.com is a prime example.  However individuals can also host websites on their home PC's.   Websites like this are more vulnerable to this type of attack.

As the user or surfer on the Web, what you can do to protect yourself is the usual regimen that we have covered before.   Do not download anything you are not sure of.   If prompted to download something such as  codec, do not do it unless you are 120% sure it is safe.   Keep your Windows up to date.  Keep your Security Software up to date if applicable.   Do not open any email attachments unless you are sure of the sender and that the file is safe.

As the security to combat viruses and infections gets better, the viruses and malware get more advanced as well.  It is up to you to be smart and careful to reduce your risks for infection.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.




Are Your Passwords Secure?

When it comes to using Passwords, whether to log onto your PC or log into your email, you should take care to make your Password tough to crack.    Unfortunately coming up with complicated passwords that we remember can be difficult.  The easiest solution that I have found is to pick something very strange, it can be an object, book, character, radiator, milk jug, or anything, the more obscure the better.   Once you pick that, then add a couple of numbers that you know you won't forget and you should have a pretty tough password for someone to guess.   For example, if your password was   trashbag324.   Now mostly likely that name may strike a laugh with you which will help you remember it and who in their right mind would come up with a password like that.   Unless you are in the Waste Removal Industry this is not likely to be too many people's password.    The key is to remember it and make it stick.

If you work at a company that requires you to change your Password every few months, you can usually just pick another obscure word or phrase and add a few numbers to it.     filecabinet985 would be tough to guess.

Your Amazon.com password, your email password, your bank password are some of the many passwords we have to use and remember.    While it is very easy to use the same password for them all, it is quite risky.   A good solution is to make up about 3 passwords that you will remember, and assign them to different areas.   Maybe you have one for your banking and Amazon account.  Then another for your email, and Facebook.   If you do this you will have the  Security of tough passwords and only need to remember 3 Passwords as opposed to 10 different ones.   Simple but still Secure.    Having a password is recommended even if you are a single user and live alone.   If your PC was stolen or you would not want to have your PC or private Docs, pictures compromised.    Now I am realistic enough to know that most people who have one computer at home for themselves may not use a password.   It is an inconvenience but for security purposes it is the right thing to do.   If you have no password, and are having friends or your romantic partner, what is stop someone from going on your PC to see what is there?

If for any reason you suspect your password has been compromised, you should change it immediately.    If your machine contracts a virus or other malicious software, your passwords could be at risk.  While the chances are slim, it all depends on how infected your PC and what type of infection you have.   There are key-loggers and password-stealing programs out there.   This is one of the most important reasons to keep your Security Software up to date to give your machine the maximum protection.    Having a tough password on your home PC and Office PC is a good habit to practice.   We cannot avoid the future or more and more things being done online and needing passwords, so protect yourself as best you can while still being able to remember them.   The more characters and numbers the tougher it will be.   Just don' t make them so tough that you can't remember them.    If your password makes your laugh, you will be far more likely to remember it.   :)      As a final example:     horsehockey742

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.




File Sharing Sites And The Risks They Pose

File sharing sites can be notorious areas to pick up infections for your PC.     While File Sharing sites are useful in many ways they do have risks associated with them.   File sharing sites allow anyone to upload files, videos, data to a server.   These can then be download by people to their PC's.   So if you don't have a song you want you can find it and download it to your PC.  This allows people to share their files with others which is a great idea.   As usual all good ideas open up doors for people to take advantage of the situation.  The problem occurs because Virus makers and Infection spreaders can also upload whatever they want as well.   They  deceive people into thinking they are downloading a legitimate file such as popular song or popular video.  They can name their infection anything they want. When you think you are downloading the latest Lady GaGa song you might get a nasty infection that tries to collect your personal information instead.   You click on Poker Face and you may not be dancing the night away, but rather watching your PC go haywire as it gets devoured by a Worm.    If you click on one of these you can infect your machine within seconds.   It only takes one bad click to infect your PC.

The price you pay for the Free cost of the File Sharing sites is the Risk for getting infected.   Paid Music sites such as ITunes are perfectly safe.    Other negatives with some free File Sharing sites could be:    Adware that you may have to install on your PC to use their software.   These can be Ads that you are forced to watch or have running in the background while using the program.   Most of the programs may also use up your Internet Bandwidth if you are not using all of it.   This means that while you are surfing the Internet or watching an online video, the program can be slowing down your Internet connection by using those resources.   This can bog down your machine and is also most likely sending out information on what websites you surf.  This information is harvested in order to spam your email with useless garbage for just about anything.    People that make viruses and spyware  specifically put  infections on these sites under all sorts of different names in the hopes of spreading the infections too as many PC's as they can.    File sharing sites are an excellent and anonymous way to spread the infections.   There is no shortage of people using these sites and many do not have enough protection on their PC's.

If you use these sites, you need to be very careful when clicking on something to download.   Your Security can protect you against infections but many times by clicking on the infection, it will launch the virus.   The virus can target your Anti-virus software or other security programs to shut them down and give the infection a free pass through your system.    This of course leads to more infections and can become a serious problem.   The safest bet is to stay off of these sites.   Now no one is going to do that because they are free and very popular, but if you do use them, beware that you are putting your PC at an increased rate for infection.    Is the Free Music worth the risk?   Most people feel it is.   In this economy, who can blame them?   Just be careful out there if you use these sites.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.




Watch Out For Fake Antivirus Software

Fake Antivirus software continues to be a constant threat to the home PC User.    Fake Antivirus software is one of the most common type of infections on the Internet these days.   They come in all sorts of varieties and names.   They are designed to specifically fool the user into believing they are legitimate.  Some will run fake scans on your PC telling you it is infected and prompting you to download more software to fix it.  Do not click on these as you will only further infect your PC.   They will try to get you to purchase software that will fix the problem but this too is usually a scam.  While they will take your money and maybe remove some part of their infection, they will also leave you some new infections.  These in turn will prompt you to pay and download additional software to fix the problem.

If you get infected with one of these, do not click on anything to proceed further.  Try to close the windows if possible using Task Manager or clicking on the X in the top right corner.   You need to get the infections off of your PC as quick as possible.   If you have Security Software, this is the time to run it.  If your Security Software can not remove the infection then you should get professional help.    The longer you let the infection reside on your PC, the more damage it will do.    One infection can easily lead to multiple infections and can get to the point where Windows may not even start up for you.

Signs that you might be infected would be Software that you do not recognize telling you that your PC is infected and prompting you to download or install something.   If it is not part of your regular Security Software, do not install or run the program.   These infections can come from most anywhere so be mindful of where you are surfing and if you get a message telling your PC is infected or may be, navigate away from the page and run your scans to make sure your PC is clean.

If you are the victim of this already and have paid money to one of these companies, you should call your Credit Card company/Bank and try to stop the charges as soon as possible.    Many of these scams may give out your information as well on the Internet so keep an eye on your Credit Cards going forward as well for suspicious charges.   Some will just take the money and run, while others may try to use the card so the sooner you can report the fraud, the better your chances are at safeguarding your card.

Again, if you can not get rid of the infection on your own, then have it removed by a professional.   Letting the infection remain is a recipe for certain disaster.

Thanks for reading and have a great rest of the week.




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